The Schaumburg-Palatine School District 211 board of education agreed Thursday to pay more than $283,000 to place students with severe discipline problems in an alternative school program during the 2012-13 school year.
Tuition and assessments through the North Cook Young Adult Academy were each increased by 8 percent this year, but District 211's cost for 2012-13 is a decrease from the more than $306,000 they spent on the program last year.
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Daniel Cates, associate superintendent for administrative services, said the 7.3 percent decrease is a result of enrollment numbers.
The total cost includes 20.5 "student seats" -- which each equal 180 attendance days for almost $12,000 per seat -- and 15 in-depth assessments, which include academic and personality testing and an overall assessment of how the student works interpersonally. Assessments cost slightly more than $2,500 each.
Board member Anna Klimkowicz questioned the cost of the assessments, asking if the price was typical for what they include.
Cates said the cost for assessments is certainly "a significant charge," but educators at the academy need to have a full understanding of each student coming in.
He said the prices have increased because the academy faces significant reductions in state funding, which resulted in staff cuts and the closing of one of its three sites.
Superintendent Nancy Robb added said it will always be necessary to have some sort of program for students with severe discipline problems.
"You have to have a safe school program in which those kids that are not able to function in your traditional high school can be successful somewhere else," she said. "If they're not able to do it, we will have to be able to come up with another plan."